Is an Online Teaching Degree Recognized by Employers?
Attending a college can be incredibly expensive. Most students end up with significant debt by the time they complete their education. Online classes often provide a more affordable and convenient way to study for a specific field, such as teaching.
Before enrolling in an online class to obtain a teaching degree, use the following tips to ensure that your degree comes from an accredited institution.
Ensure That the Program Is Accredited
If you are taking online courses to earn a teaching degree, you should ensure that the degree has regional accreditation. It should also be approved by the state where you live or plan to teach.
To become a teacher, you typically need to obtain a teaching license in the state where you intend to teach. The teaching license often requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in education. If the online program is not accredited, you may not qualify for a teaching license. Accreditation is necessary for both undergraduate and graduate programs if you want the degree to be recognized.
Most of the accredited online teaching degree programs are offered through major universities. However, there are additional organizations that offer online programs for teaching. These programs are less likely to be accredited but may offer a path toward certification for specialized areas of education.
Online Undergraduate Degrees in Education
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in education is often the first step toward becoming a teacher, as it is typically a requirement for obtaining a teaching license. You are less likely to find an online teaching degree program that offers an alternative to a traditional undergraduate degree.
The skills and curriculum of a typical undergraduate degree program for teaching are not suited to an online program taught entirely online. Students are typically required to spend at least one semester as a student teacher, which is not possible through an online course.
While there are not many online programs specifically for obtaining an undergraduate degree, several universities offer undergrad programs that combine online learning and traditional classroom learning. With these programs, you may complete some of your courses in-person and others online.
You may also find online programs that can count toward your bachelor’s degree from a regional institution. However, you need to ensure that the courses are accredited to have your credits accepted by another school.
Online Graduate Degrees in Education
When seeking a master’s degree through online programs, you may have the option to complete the entire program online. Unlike undergraduate degree programs, you may not need to attend classes or spend time as a student teacher. This provides more flexibility for those that are furthering their education.
If you already have an undergraduate degree, there is a greater chance that you are already employed, even if you are not employed at a school. An online teaching degree with no in-person components gives you more freedom to complete the required courses around your schedule.
The master’s degree programs available online are typically intended for those who already have a teaching license or necessary certification to teach in their state. These programs provide a way to further your career by gaining more credentials.
You may also find a program that acts as a pathway for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field. You may take an online program to earn a bachelor’s degree in education without requiring four years of study.
Beyond the master’s degree, there are online doctoral programs available for those who want to pursue administrative, teaching, or research positions.
Last Thoughts on Obtaining an Online Teaching Degree
If you want to become a teacher, you can find an online teaching degree program. Keep in mind that a degree does not typically qualify you to teach in most states. You also need to acquire a teaching license, which often requires a bachelor’s degree in education.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree, you may find master’s degree programs that are offered entirely online. However, you need to ensure that the degree you obtain is recognized by the state. Remember the tips discussed to find a quality online learning platform.
Start by making sure that the course is accredited by the necessary organization. If a major accrediting body accredits the program, there is no reason that an employer would disregard your qualifications.